Definition – Coursework Example

Categories of Social Moral: Norms, Folkways, Mores, Taboos This work investigates into the categories of socialmoral that we guide our everyday activity in accordance with. These are norms, folkways, mores and taboos. The purpose of the paper is to explain these categories and to clarify whether they are stable or variable and the reason for this.
Categories of Social Moral: Norms, Folkways, Mores, Taboos
In activities of everyday life, a man is guided by such categories of social moral that are usually understood and implied very well, though very seldom referred to and taken for granted. To such categories belong: norms, folkways, mores, and taboos. It is necessary to define each of them and give examples for more instance.
Norms are cultural products, including values, customs and traditions, which represent individual’s basic knowledge of what others do and what others think that they should do. (Sherif, 1936, Cialdini, 2003). From the sociologists’ point of view, norms are informal understandings that govern individuals’ behavior in society. (Marshall, 2009). These are, for instance, behavior norms, such as non-smoking and non-swearing in public.
Folkways are norms of routine or casual interaction. The examples of these are appropriate greetings and proper dress in various situations. (Macionis, Gerber 2010).
Mores are considered to be the norms that are more widely observed and have greater moral significance. (Macionis, Gerber 2010). An instance of mores is matrimonial allegiance.
Taboos are vehement prohibitions of actions based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake. (Meriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary). Incest, necrophilia, cannibalism belong to this category.
Folks and mores can change, with the only differ which is speed. Mores change less frequently and rapidly because they are deeply rooted in society, while folkways are likely to change frequently and rapidly because of being less deeply rooted. ( Following this, mores do not change rapidly, but when they do, they modify the society’s culture being part of it. Rapid change of folkways, on the contrary, leads to modification of national identity, as folkways are connected with nations mostly.

Cialdini, R. D. (2003). Crafting normative messages to protect the environment. Current
Directions "Political Science", 12(4), 105–109.
Distinction between mores and folkways.
Macionis and Gerber (2010). Sociology. 7th Edition, Pearson Canada, 65.
Marshall, G., 2009. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology.
Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary. 11th edition.
Sherif, M. (1936). The Psychology of Social Norms. New York, Harper.